A Nigerian school principal on Thursday denied military reports that most of the girls kidnapped from her school by Islamist gunmen were now safe, as the parents of those taken voiced anger over the conflicting claims.
The defence ministry and the government in Borno state, where the attack took place, have said that 129 girls were abducted by Boko Haram militants from a secondary school in the Chibok area late Monday. Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said on Thursday that all but eight of the girls were safe, citing the principal of the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok.
“The report from the military is not true,” principal Asabe Kwambura told AFP in Lagos.
She said the information provided by Borno’s governor Kashim Shettima yesterday that only 14 girls had escaped their captors was “correct”.
The mass kidnap — which has sparked global outrage — came just hours after the deadliest attack ever in the capital Abuja, where a bomb blast also blamed on Boko Haram killed at least 75 people. “For the military (which) is supposed to find and rescue our children to be spreading such lies shows that they have no intention of rescuing our girls,” said Lawan Zanna, a Chibok resident whose daughter was among those taken.
Students have been massacred in their dormitories and bombs set off at university campuses, but the mass abduction specifically targeting girls is unprecedented.